Chesterfield boss Martin Allen has not put a time frame on how long injured Sam Wedgbury faces on the sidelines.
Wedgbury sustained a knee injury and was stretchered off during the Spireites’ 3-2 defeat at Barrow on Tuesday night.
And Allen, who saw up close the pain the midfielder was in, admitted “it’ll be a long time” before he returns to action.
Allen said: “We found out Sam Wedgbury’s got a pretty serious knee injury, so that will be something we have to look at, but we’ll take it one step at a time.
“He’ll be out for a long time.
“He was in a lot of pain at the time when it happened. I’ve never been on the pitch to see a player before but it wasn’t far from me and I could see the pain he was in.
“He’s become such an integral part of our group. He’s right in the middle of it. Whether he’s playing or not he’s always the same; he’s bright and bubbly, enthusiastic and encourages all the other players.
“I was thrilled to give him an opportunity to play and he was playing very well. Just to see that agony on his face in that split second was very upsetting.
“Those players mean a lot to me. I’ve spoken to him several times, spoken to his wife Alice several times, my bosses have all called him and the players have rallied round him with little messages.
“But most importantly he’s in a good place with good people around him and I’ve been assured by the people above he will get well looked after and we will give him full chance for a full recovery. I was delighted with that.”
Allen, who this week brought in experienced winger Kyel Reid, said it was too early to say whether he will dip into the market for further reinforcements following Wedgbury’s injury.
He added: “It’s too early to say but with losing Sam we’ve lost another central midfield player. But that’s for another day.”